60 CHARLIZE THERON - ACTRESS/PRODUCER
She’s gifted with the pouting grace of a petulant angel but a tough, tender turn in In The Valley Of Elah again shows her career isn’t fuelled by looks but authentic acting chops.
What’s next? Amores Perros scribe Guillermo Arriaga’s big-screen directorial debut The Burning Plain and Will Smith superhero satire Hancock.
59 MARK WAHLBERG - ACTOR/PRODUCER
Shooter was no Bourne, but it confirmed Wahlberg as the hardest actor in Hollywood (in the playground sense). He also shifted into movie producing with James Gray’s thriller We Own The Night.
What’s next? Owning the M Night in The Happening, essaying the clammed-up dad in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones and bringing the pain in, um, Max Payne.
58 PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON - DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER
This is what a prodigy looks like – three features, including masterworks Boogie Nights and Magnolia – in the can before you’re 30.
What’s next? Well, it’s kinda now, with PTA cementing his legend with greed and fury-fuelled American epic, There Will Be Blood.
57 HUGH JACKMAN - ACTOR
The abracadabra yin/yang twinning of The Prestige and The Fountain showcased Jackman as more than just that bloke with the claws... though of course we’re still pretty excited about his stint in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
What’s next? Wooing Nicole Kidman in Australia, destroying Ewan McGregor in The List...
56 CHRISTINA RICCI - ACTRESS/PRODUCER
Despite achieving a bright burst of plump, post-teen fame with Buffalo ’66, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and The Opposite Of Sex, Ricci’s transformation to adult star endured a few lean years, until Black Snake Moan reconfirmed her promise.
What’s next? Giving dads something to smile about in the Wachowskis kiddie action epic Speed Racer.
55 SPIKE JONZE - DIRECTOR
The Being John Malkovich and Adaptation director made his name in music vids for the likes of the Beastie Boys, Daft Punk, REM, Tenacious D and Björk. Rumours that his ex-wife Sofia Coppola based Scarlett Johansson’s Lost In Translation hubbie on him have never been confirmed, but anyone who can deliver Christopher Walken dancing and flying in Fatboy Slim’s ‘Weapon Of Choice’ video can’t be that dull...
What’s next? More fantasy. This time adapting Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where The Wild Things Are. He’s also reportedly in talks to helm Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, charting the newspaper columnist’s search for human oddities.
54 MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM - DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER
Never one to shy away from a difficult subject – see true-life tragedy A Mighty Heart – Winterbottom frequently tackles topics that are politically complex, blurring the lines between fiction and reality. Fearless and relentless, he delivers at least one film a year with producing partner Andrew Eaton.
What’s next? Five-year TV drug drama Seven Days is being shot a few weeks at a time until completion in 2012, while ghost story Genova – starring Colin Firth – will be out well before that in ’08. Murder In Samarkand follows, based upon the memoirs of Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and starring Steve Coogan.
53 SCARLETT JOHANSSON - ACTRESS
Scarlett has consumed Hollywood with husky-voiced veracity. The blow-away combo of effortless cool and teeming talent has bagged her gigs with a string of Hollywood greats (Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Brian De Palma) and secured spots in a clutch of modern classics (The Man Who Wasn’t There, Lost In Translation, The Prestige) – and she’s still just 23...
What’s next? Henry VIII drama The Other Boleyn Girl, before we get really excited about Frank Miller’s directorial spin on Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Not to mention stints in He’s Just Not That Into You, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and another shot at royalty as Mary, Queen Of Scots.
52 JOHN POWELL - COMPOSER
Tunesmith of choice for Bourne boys Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass, Powell did remarkable note-work on the series – propelling the carnage yet still finding space for emotion. He’s versatile too, with pulsating action scores flip-flopping for comedy hits. Past highlights include brilliantly playful compositions for animated fare such as Shrek, Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown and Happy Feet.
What’s next? Reunited with Liman for sci-fi action flick Jumper, he follows that up with sensitive Iraq war drama Stop-Loss and then The Green Zone for Mr Greengrass. He’ll also be providing the tunes for Dr Seuss tale Horton Hears A Who!
51 DARREN ARONOFSKY - WRITER/DIRECTOR
Love it or hate it – and more fool you if it’s the latter – The Fountain revealed that the bold alchemical imagination behind π and Requiem For A Dream was still shooting for the heights of cinema, philosophy and beyond. One day, Hollywood will be his.
What’s next? Climbing into the ring for The Wrestler, with Mickey Rourke playing a clapped-out ’80s grappler making a near suicidal bid to regain his former glory.